This article appears in the September issue of 400 Life Magazine.
With the advent of hot summer weather in July and August, a locally owned business is doing all it can to bring cold, sweet treats to community members in Dawson and Forsyth counties.
Best Ice Cream on Wheels officially launched its season at the end of March and has been working nonstop to visit as many local neighborhoods as possible.
Owner Kandi Bolton said that she took over the ice cream truck business from a friend of hers back in January.
Bolton said she decided to take over the business when her sister, Cindy Bennett, agreed to manage it for her. “I had a very good friend who owned the ice cream business and she was relocating to Florida and didn’t want to take the company with her,” Bolton said. “So she offered me a deal I couldn’t turn down, and that’s pretty much the story of how we got started.”
“The only way I would agree was if Cindy would agree to manage it,” Bolton said. “I have two other businesses, so I don’t have time, so Cindy manages it for me.”
Since then, the sisters have been rebuilding the brand and making it their own.
The three Best Ice Cream on Wheels trucks run every day along different routes in Dawson and Forsyth. According to Bennett, these routes differ each day and are posted on the business’s social media pages every morning.
“We post our routes on Facebook, and then I also send neighborhoods a message the night before or the morning of to let them know we’re gonna be in their neighborhood,” Bennett said. “And we ask them to post it on their community page as well so people know we’re coming.”
The routes are based off of a list from the former owner of what neighborhoods she visited, as well as specific requests she gets from neighborhoods.
“We have people call, text or message asking us to come to their neighborhood,” Bennett said, “so our routes are always different.”
Best Ice Cream on Wheels also visits parties and events.
“We do parties and banquets, church events, that kind of thing,” Bennett said. “We do weddings, we did a prom last week — because everyone loves ice cream!”
The ice cream business also holds sponsored parties, where local business owners will sponsor the truck to go through a neighborhood.
“Basically, somebody who wants to promote their business will hire us to go into a neighborhood and they’ll pay for ice cream for everybody,” Bolton said. “So like we have a lot of realtors that do that with neighborhoods they’re already working ... and we make sure to let everybody know who the ice cream is sponsored by.”
Bennett also said they like to do school fundraisers as a way to give back.
“I’ve had several schools that have already asked us to be their No. 1 person for fundraising,” Bennett said. “We do school events, and we will give a percentage back because we believe in giving back to the community.”
According to Bennett, the COVID-19 pandemic has kept their three trucks busy.
“We started running routes in late March when the pandemic was so bad, so everybody was home and wanting something different,” Bennett said. “So we wore masks and had gloves and hand sanitizer and started running our routes in different neighborhoods — we hit the ground running and have not stopped.”
Bolton said that the Georgia summer heat has also contributed to keeping the trucks busy.
With the pandemic going on, Best Ice Cream on Wheels has also been delivering ice cream to local assisted living or nursing homes.
“A lot of the hospice companies that have patients there will call us and ask us to come out with our ice cream truck,” Bennett said.
Bennett said that they hope to keep the ice cream business going even after the weather starts cooling down.
“We don’t have a close date or a season end or anything,” Bennett said, “and we do plan on trying to run as long as we can even with cold weather; we’re trying to find some options and checking into some different things, so just stay tuned for that.”
For more information or to schedule a truck to come to your neighborhood or event, send them a message on Facebook, email Cindy Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 404-219-0655.
Story by Erica Schmidt, Dawson County News.